Sports Books and Autobiographies That Will Have You Hooked

To many people, sport is something that plays out on a television screen, primarily for their entertainment. However, there is an underlying world that cannot be entered simply by watching live matches. I’m Simon Goodyear, a sports writer who has penned and published a number of sports books and autobiographies. My books give readers an insight into the life of a sportsman, covering the highs and lows of being involved in top-level sport.

The Peter Withe Autobiography - All for the Love of the Game

Foreword by Ray Clemence

The well-travelled striker saw action in South Africa and the United States before heading back to England to achieve considerable domestic success and pick up international honours. At 6’2” and strong on the ball, Withe cut an imposing figure up front and his ability to shield the ball proved an asset to those who played alongside him. 


Having signed for Nottingham Forest in 1976, he won the Football League and Football League Cup with them before moving to Newcastle and then Aston Villa. The £500,000 transfer fee that took him to Villa Park in 1980 was a club record but it proved well justified as he helped them win the League title and the European Cup. 


He was just shy of his 30th birthday when he received his first England cap, playing in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Brazil at Wembley in August 1981. He went on to make a further ten appearances for the Three Lions and was part of Ron Greenwood’s World Cup squad in ’82, although he did not play. Peter claimed a total of eleven caps for England, scoring one goal in the 1984 Euro Qualifier win over Hungary at Wembley. 


He finished his career with Huddersfield Town in 1990 and had very successful stints as an international Manager with Thailand and Indonesia.

Publication Date: 23rd November 2017

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Cherno Samba – Still in the Game

Foreword by Clive Allen and Dick Bate

This is a fully loaded autobiography of the life of a footballer who was destined for stardom in the 2006 World Cup, but like a lot of talented footballers, life got in the way of the stardom he craved.

Cherno Samba represented England at every youth level up to the under-20 team, playing with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent, and David Bentley. Having moved to England at an early age from Gambia, Cherno began his career with Millwall before moving to Spain to join Cádiz. He spent time on loan with Malaga B before returning to England to play for Plymouth Argyle. He played on loan for Wrexham and then at Haka in Finland and Panetolikos in Greece, before moving to FK Tønsberg in Norway.

Aside from football, Cherno is probably best known as one of the top 10 ‘legends’ of the video game Championship Manager (now called Football Manager), and was the face of the 2016-2017 series of the game. Everyone who has ever played the game has heard of Cherno Samba.

Having retired at the age of 30 through injury, his main focus is to become a coach himself, and he is currently undergoing his UEFA ‘A’ licence. This book has a few surprises and a poignant message to young, up-and-coming footballers - to work hard, learn from your elders, and don’t let the fame and fortune get in the way of making it to the top.

Publication Date: 5 November 2018

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Brian Little: A Little is Enough

Foreword by Gareth Southgate

Brian Little spent all of his playing career at Aston Villa, having moved from County Durham at the age of 15 to join the club as an apprentice.

As a player, Brian was comfortable on the ball and ahead of his time - a silky smooth player who had a few tricks in him. Although not a prolific goalscorer, he’d be classed as a ‘number 10’ in the modern game and played most of his career behind the main striker. He was very much a ‘class’ player.

He helped Villa gain promotion to the First Division in the 1974 – 1975 season and was part of the 1975 and 1977 League Cup winning sides, scoring two goals in the second replay against Everton in 1977. Brian made his only appearance for England, as a substitute against Wales in 1975.

Brian’s playing career was tragically cut short in 1980 at the age of 26 due to a knee injury, so he missed out on Villa’s most triumphant years, when they won the League Championship (1981), the European Cup (1982) and the European Super Cup (1983). However, Brian remained on the payroll until 1984 as the youth team coach, until Tony Barton was sacked.

After two years out of the game, Brian took up the caretaker manager role at Wolves, but that only lasted less than two months. Spells at Middlesbrough, Darlington and Leicester City were much more successful. Brian’s most successful managerial role came when he took charge back at Villa Park, winning the League Cup in 1996 and had back-to-back top-six finishes in the Premier League.

Managerial stints at Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Hull City, Tranmere Rovers, Wrexham, Gainsbrough Trinity and Jersey followed during the period from 1999 until 2014 with some successes.

In 2007, Brian was named as one of the 12 founder members of the Aston Villa Hall of Fame. Since May 2016, Brian has been in an advisory role at Aston Villa.

Publication date: 27 November 2018

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